We know gaming consoles and iPhones are big no-nos when it comes to tampering with their gadgets. Jailbreaking an iPhone, while legal, will right away void your phone’s warranty, and you cannot take it back for repairs or service.
But what exactly voids a car’s warranty? Can’t you safely upgrade your headlights to those sweet, bright LEDs you’ve been eyeing?
A simple answer is no, LED headlights do not void a car’s warranty, but with two conditions. Number one, if you have not tampered with the factory wiring of the headlight assembly. And number two, if you have gotten them replaced from an authorized person or dealer. These clauses will differ by each company.
What Is The Definition Warranty Void?
Product manufacturers stand by the quality of their products and offer a warranty on them. This means you can bring back the product after you’ve purchased it if something goes wrong with it when it was being operated as intended.
The key phrase is ‘operated as intended,’ which means you used it as it should have been used.
Warranties define the coverage scope, which describes what all is covered in case it stops working. They are tied to time limitations, so service will be provided from 1 up to 10 years or more.
Finally, warranties also define limitations to the scope, which defines what is not covered by the company and will make it void.
Now let’s talk about cars.
Car companies have defined the limitations of what makes the warranty null and void, no longer applicable.
Anything that shows that the car was either neglected for maintenance, improper fluids were used in the engine, or aftermarket modifications and parts.
Before you modify your car, read the warranty and find out exactly what will void it. This will be likely with a car’s owner’s manual. Read the fine print and the section ‘What is Not Covered’ and stay away from that.
Generally speaking, try not to alter the factory setting, also known as stock. If you’ve tinkered with that, your warranty will no longer be accepted. Stock can be hardware like coil-over kits or software like stereo systems, security alarms, or engine tuning software.
If your car faces a problem, the car company may not honor it if the failure is caused by the aftermarket part installed.
Consumer rights does protect you in that the company needs to prove that in fact the problem is caused by the part. Otherwise, they must accept the warranty if the problem is unrelated.
Does Installing Aftermarket LED Headlights Void Warranty?
However, if you are like me, you love to get the best out of the product, seeking to customize it and upgrade it while also getting the bang for your buck.
We all know car service providers don’t exactly provide the best prices. And that’s why people may choose to go to aftermarket dealers.
Here, installing new headlights and other lights is often a fan favorite.
LED lights come in a variety of installation types. Some that require rewiring, and others that are called plug-and-play. These plug-and-play bulbs are straightforward to install without needing to rewire.
Technically speaking, changing your projector headlights to LED ones should not void the warranty. Most LEDs use simple replacement kits that don’t require modification.
They usually are easily placed inside the socket of the existing headlight assembly. Therefore car makers don’t object to such installations.
Thus, you won’t be changing the whole headlight but rather the bulb. In a way, it will be effectively classed as replacing a faulty bulb.
If you run into car issues unrelated to the headlights installed, make sure the car company or dealership doesn’t try to blame the new parts for it. Unless they can prove it, you are within your rights to change LEDs from an authorized person.
Will Tampering With Headlights Wiring Void Warranty?
While simple replacement is safe for your car’s warranty, it is an entirely different story when you need to rewire the headlights to fit the LED headlight.
Suppose you or your mechanic starts messing around with the car’s wiring or computer system to install the LEDs. In that case, most likely, this will void the car’s warranty. For example, if you directly cut the wiring or tamper with the wire in any way.
Retailers like Lasfit.com offer simple and safe to use plug and play exterior lights that don’t require rewiring. You can buy DIY LEDs kits from Lasfit for headlights, fog lights, indicators and tail light, that you can install yourself.
Lasfit is known for its smaller sized LED bulb units by doing away with external drivers. This allows you to directly plug the new LED replacement into the existing factory housing. They stand by this service and even give a 45-day free return guarantee.
So there you go, even less of a reason to tamper with and void your car’s precious warranty. If you haven’t tampered with the wires, car companies cannot void your warranty. But there’s a catch, so read on!
Always Check Warranty Conditions With Dealerships
So before you go install you new LEDs, let me add a further word of caution. The caution is applied differently for different car manufacturers. Some are more flexible to install mods, but some are quite firm on not even a slight change.
Sometimes, what causes your warranty to become void, may not be the fact that there is a non-factory bulb installed. You won’t even know you did anything wrong until 4 months down the line you need to go and service the car only to find out your warranty was voided.
This is because you, an unauthorized person, opened the car headlight assembly yourself and damaged the seal.
So DIY can be lovely until it becomes DIWhy!
In this case, an easy bypass solution is to visit an authorized garage or dealer, get them to replace your LEDs, and you would still have the warranty.
Even something as small as a bulb replacement can become an issue with individual car companies with strict policies. Again, the best practice is to check with the company or dealership you got your car at.
Before you get completely put off by the idea of installing lights to your car, do some research around your dealership’s policies.
You may be happy to find that your car dealership is more ‘mod-friendly’ than you assumed.
Also read: Can LED Headlights Drain Car Battery?
Make the owner’s manual, your friend. Don’t be daunted by the amount of information there. It is there to help you, and you will learn a great deal lot about your car.
Car companies can be relatively rigid with their policies. Still, there is usually a solution around that you need to get at. Keep checking back for more tips and advice on how to keep your cars safe and sleek.
Have you been thinking of upgrading your headlight to LEDs?
Did you know about plug-and-play kits that make installation so much easier?
What was the weirdest warranty void you have experienced?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.